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Nancy P.

Even though there is a history of heart problems in my family on both sides I never would have believed that I would suffer a major heart attack at the age of 47. I walked 7 miles a day and ran 3 miles 3 times a week. I had run 3 miles the evening before and remember stopping by my parents’ house and mentioning that my hands hurt and hoped I wasn't having a heart attack and then laughed and went on my way. I awoke the next morning feeling very sick but had atypical symptoms. My back ached, my hands still hurt, and it felt like every tooth in my head was aching. I got up and went about cooking breakfast. My grandson had spent the night with us so he was there. The longer I was up the worse I felt but still never imagined "heart attack". I finally asked my husband to take me to the doctor and then changed my mind in route and requested the ER. We were pulled over for speeding and the State Trooper took one look at me and called an ambulance. It was then that I realized I was suffering a heart attack. The ambulance arrived within 2 minutes pulling the gurney alongside the car and trying to help me get on it. I refused and told them I would walk to the ambulance under my own power and then get on the gurney. It was a busy highway you know. Upon arrival at the hospital the ER physician suggested that I might have a pulmonary embolism and sent me off for an MRI. During the test the ER nurse came back and whispered in the technician's ear that I was in the midst of an active MI. My LAD (left anterior descending artery) was 97% blocked. A stent was placed the following day and on the third day I suffered chest pain again. Another trip to the cath lab and I had my 2nd stent. Five weeks later I was in Tulsa, OK shopping and chest pain! The cardiologist there said that the lining of my artery was torn during the second stent placement and that they placed 3 additional stents to correct the situation. In February of the following year the stent scarred over, so then I had my 6th stent all in the LAD and was told that since they were "wall to wall" my next step would be Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG). In August of 2008 I once again had scarring and at that point underwent CABG. The surgeon used a mammary artery for the graft but at this point it's been determined that it is atrophic and 5 weeks ago I had my 7th stent to reopen the native artery. I live with chest pain daily and take a time released nitroglycerin to help ease the pain. Women, do not make the same mistakes I did. I'm facing a re-do of the CABG if this last stent scars over and not looking forward to it. Know the signs, carry the aspirin, and request the correct tests if the ER physician doesn't order them. The one thing I did right was take aspirin that day and of course I had the good Lord on my side. Here's to long life and health.



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Heart disease in America causes 2,400 deaths per day. That's an average of one death every 37 seconds. Inspire others to live ProHeart by sharing your story of survival.

Nancy P.

“The one thing I did right was take aspirin that day.”

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If you suspect a heart attack, call 911 and take aspirin as directed by a doctor.

Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.